Airports all over the UK, including in Cardiff, require passengers to arrive a certain amount of time before their flight's scheduled departure.

There is a lot that goes on in the lead up to your flight like parking your car, check-in, security and everything else that goes on before you even take off.

With that in mind, it is important to get to the airport with plenty of time so you don't miss your flight. 

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If you are one of the more than one million passengers that are set to travel through Cardiff Airport this year and are wondering how early should you arrive - here's all you need to know.

When should you arrive at Cardiff Airport before a flight?

How early you should arrive at Cardiff Airport before your flight, will depend on your travel destination.

Short haul flight

For Short Haul flights (approximately four hours or less) you should arrive at least two hours before your scheduled time of departure, according to the Cardiff Airport website.

This will allow you enough time to check-in, drop off any luggage and get through security to the departures area.

Cardiff Airport adds: "Please note that every airline has its own recommendations so do check with your airline before you fly."

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Long haul flight

If you're catching a long haul flight or taking an onward connection from Cardiff via one of the Airports hub destinations, it is advised to arrive at least four hours before your scheduled departure time. 

Cardiff Airport adds: "This is especially important when flying on longer journeys as the check-in and security search process is likely to be longer.  

"During rush hour it’s advisable to allow extra time to account for for road delays and parking your vehicle.

"We endeavour to make your journey through the Airport as smooth as possible, however check in and security may take longer during busy periods."

Places to eat and drink at Cardiff Airport

If you have some spare time before you board your flight you may be looking for somewhere to eat or drink to pass the time. 


There are a variety of options when it comes to food and drink at Cardiff Airport:

  • Greggs
  • Costa Coffee (Departure lounge and arrivals)
  • Tap + Brew Craft Beer and Kitchen (Departure lounge)
  • Y Castell Bar and Kitchen (Departure lounge)
  • The 51° Executive Lounge
  • WHSmith (Departure lounge and check-in)

If you are looking to for a little retail therapy before your flight there is also a World Duty Free in the departure lounge where you can browse through a wide range of products.